By Michael Aboneka Social media was awash with the comments of the Inspector General of Government on issues of corruption. In her statement, attention was drawn to the fact that corruption does not affect the   haves -but rather the have-nots and the less privileged who are always the victim of corruption. In whatever way you want to take the words of the IGG, there is truth in it in all ways. The rich will continue to be rich at the expense of the poor. What more examples do we need to this when we have fresh accounts of ministers who were arrested, charged, remanded and are still battling cases over the “stolen Iron sheets”---for they were taking from the poor/vulnerable? Using the example of how the poor and less privileged will spend all their money on repairing their small cars; Toyota wish and vitz time and again because of the potholes, while those in government and highly placed offices will never feel the potholes later on the pinch of repair costs; it is a glaring fact livin

The US Africa-summit: What is in it for Uganda?

  By Michael Aboneka The US Africa summit, the first of its kind for eight years, following the end of the era of Donald Trump and his America first policy, just concluded. With US President, Joe Biden, deliberately playing a different tune from his predecessor Donald Trump. His was indeed a courting ode, with a promise that the US is "All in on Africa's future”. Even more endearing was the declaration that “Africa belongs at the table in every room — in every room where global challenges are being discussed and in every institution where discussions are taking place” that accompanied the promise that US will support African Union joining the G20 group of large economies as a permanent member.  Biden announced $2 billion in humanitarian aid for Africa to address acute food insecurity, with emphasis that Africa has potential to feed itself and the world and a joke that he, like a poor relative, will visit Africa and spend a long time there. The cheery tone and overt support fro

The social media exhibition is a citizens’ right to participation in government affairs

 By Michael Aboneka One of the cornerstones for democracy is public participation. Public participation is the golden thread in the thread of accountability. Article 1, 29, 38 and 52 of the Constitution of Uganda guarantees the right of citizens to express their opinion as well as participate in the affairs of government as individuals or through association. Holding leaders to account is a key principle of democratic governance to which Uganda subscribes to and that it must guarantee and uphold these rights at all times. Further, Uganda is signatory to several international and regional legal instruments such as the International Covenant on civil political rights (ICCPR), African charter on human rights, African Charter on Democracy Elections and Good governance which all enjoin Uganda to protect, promote and guarantee the freedom of expression and public participation of its citizens. The recent exhibition is not new; we have over the past protested, presented petitions, lodged co

Why we should worry about the growing inequality in Uganda

by Michael Aboneka   Uganda continues to grapple with worrying inequalities and regional imbalances.  According to World Bank (2022), half of the population was moderately food insecure and the poorest households were unable to buy food products in the desired amounts. This means that half of our population is a hungry one which can do anything for survival.  In 2021 the Ministry of Finance reported that 28% of Ugandans were poor increasing from 18% prior to COVID-19 era with about two thirds of Uganda losing income and the economy and business still staggers while the gap between the poor and rich widens further because the poor and less privileged are affected adversely proving that  Uganda’s growth is not inclusive. Recently; I saw a number of colleagues expressing their disappointment after some young men stole side mirrors of their cars in broad day light in Kampala and they were left helpless; they couldn’t even run after the thieves. The same state of hopelessness is true to maj

Constitutional reforms must be premised on pluralism

  By Michael Aboneka We have continuously talked about the need for constitutional reforms as a country and a lot has ended in talks rather than the actual work. A number of people were appointed to the constitutional review commission in 2018 and uptodate, unfortunately, the commission has never kicked off---this, again, is bad start off. There has been great push for electoral reforms too but we should focus on the larger question of constitutional reforms which then will inform the necessary reforms such as the electoral reforms. Some electoral reforms may actually need constitutional amendments-----and to avoid doing a thankless job, we need to focus on the larger issues of the constitutional reforms with the same energy as is with the electoral reforms. As put by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), the role of constitutions is to ensure the smooth operation of the political system by channeling the expression of politics through prescribed in

We need a robust framework to curb acid violence in Uganda

    By Michael Aboneka Jr Acid violence or acid attacks continues to rise in Uganda and unfortunately, not much attention has been focused on the vice. There are over 400 known/reported cases of acid attacks in the last 10 years whose effect has been severe leaving lifelong scarring, physical disfigurement, and in some cases, permanent disability including blindness and immobility and death. Many survivors spend more than a year or more in the hospital after their attack, undergoing extensive and expensive treatment and surgeries. About 84% of the incidents are related to conflicts in romantic relationships, 10% to business conflicts, 3% to property conflicts and 3% are related to other reasons. 70% of the victims are women while 30 % are men.  These attacks continue to skyrocket and if we do not take deliberate measures, many lives will be claimed by this iniquitous act. Government has the fully responsibility to protect its citizens and therefore, it must be seen interested in no onl

The Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill 2022 cures no mischief

  By Michael Aboneka Jr Hon. Muhammad Nsereko sought leave of Parliament to table an amendment bill to the Computer Misuse Act in February 2022 and has now tabled the bill on the floor of Parliament. In my view, there is nothing new that the new law is seeking to cure and I am waiting to read the Regulatory impact assessment and the justifications thereof beyond public debates.  From the proposed long title of the bill, objectives and the clause on defects in existing law, it is not clear and specific enough of what mischief the bill intends to cure. The amendment seeks to largely protect the right to privacy, prohibition of unlawful access to data and spreading of false information which are already protected by existing legal frameworks such as the Constitution, Children Act, the Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019, Penal Code Act, Data protection and privacy Act 2019 among others. All these provide layers of protection that the bill seeks to do and by large, the amendment will only du